Last week, Viet Nam News asked readers to share their thoughts about a draft decree from the Ministry of Industry and Trade to require bars and street shops to serve beer at a temperature below 30 degrees Celsius. The move aims to protect beer lovers' health. Here are some readers' comments:
Hoang Hai, Vietnamese, HCM City
I enjoy a lot of pleasant evenings with my friends outside bia hoi (fresh beer) shops after work. Who cares about the temperature of beer? I think the chances of the proposal being enforced is about one per cent.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Industry and Trade scrapped a plan to ban people selling beer on the street due to a storm of complaints from the public. Now, they have proposed a rule that requires bars and street shops to serve beer at a temperature below 30 degrees Celsius. Why does the ministry care about beer so much? The ministry should focus on finding ways to cut prices of electricity and petrol to reduce the burden on poor people.
Do Anh, Vietnamese, Da Nang
I love warm beer. How can the rule come into reality? Forcing people to drink beer in air-conditioned rooms is so ridiculous! Drinking beer with peanuts or dried squid in an open space is part of Vietnamese culture. The Government should protect people's health by improving medical services in the country.
Tuan Minh, Vietnamese, Nha Trang
I support this rule. I think it is good for beer lovers' health. Vietnamese streets are crowded with bia hoi shops, and people often chill beer with ice. I do not like that. I will not stay if a shop does not have cold beer, because it takes 10 minutes to chill my beer with ice.
I will never put ice into a beer because I have seen ice it being cut up on the floor by people with dirty hands.
Robert Fries, Texas, USA
It may be advisable to regulate beer temperatures. Have you ever walked into a dirty bar and smelled vinegar? That is the bacteria that grow in dirty mats on the bar and and tap lines.
You want a mug of beer not a mug of bacteria. That bacteria is what changes wine into vinegar. If you walk into a bar and smell vinegar, it would be advisable to order a bottle or can of beer.
Andrew Burden, Canadian, Ha Noi
The only thing worse than warm beer is no beer. Given a choice, I take the coldest beer possible. It just tastes better.
I'd like to see Viet Nam sail full steam ahead into bia hoi (fresh beer) healthy waters with safety-inspected chilled brew. Next up the road to higher standards is filtered ice and clean towels for wiping tables. Nothing cuts a holiday short like running to the toilet.
Make no mistake, tourists are fickle and want the best price with the most fun. Planeloads of people will not bother to complain. They will tell family & friends and cross a poor experience place off the list-permanently. Thailand is learning that the hard way.
Viet Nam has many treasures and wonderful hot spots to visit and enjoy. Food (and drink) poisoning brings the wrong kind of heat. Just last Tuesday, there was another report of 33 high school kids sick from food poisoning.
Everyone worries about Ebola and other world events when better attention should be paid to the mundane daily task of washing your hands. If Vietnam continues to improve its safety standards and promote eco-friendly vacations, it is safe to say I will be back - and with friends, both local and international. We will all drink to that!
Dao Trung Hieu, Vietnamese, Ha Noi
The rule would be hard to enforce. Vietnamese people often enjoy bia hoi in the summer at outdoor restaurants. As you know, the temperature in northern and central Viet Nam during the summer is above 30 degrees Celsius. In southern provinces, it is even higher.
The rule is funny. If it approved and becomes a reality, beer shop owners nationwide will have to flock to buy air conditioning units. This will mean they have to pay more for electricity, and I think the price of beer might go up. Poor beer lovers! They will have to pay more for a beer, and rink it in an air-conditioned room.
They say the rule aims to protect beer lovers, but if they (authorised agencies) really care, they should try to build more hospitals, train more doctors and conduct more inspections to tighten food hygiene and safety throughout the country. Warm beer does not affect beer lovers' health.
I prefer drinking beer on a beach and watching life go by than drinking in an air-conditioned room. — VNS